Sunday, January 3, 2010


This week I would like to introduce you to Gerry Cavanaugh who is truly my inspiration. She has made seven quilts from her scrap box. Month after month, she would bring in her beautiful quilts to the Attic Window Quilt Shop First Saturday Bee and tell us how she made each one “just from scraps.”

The picture above shows Gerry’s latest creation. She said she still has 135 balls to appliqué on the border, but you can see it is going to be a beautiful quilt.

Like most of us, the New Year threw me into a cleaning/organizing frenzy. Once into that project my large pile of scraps appalled me. I had several options. I could make cute little crafty items, from jewelry to eyeglass cases to pin cushions. However, I am a quilter. I wanted to quilt. Another option is that I could just trash them. No! Absolutely not! There is something in my blood that will not let me just throw them away. They are worth something. I can make something beautiful with them. Jerry’s quilts were proof of that. I turned to Gerry for help.

Gerry said that last March she decided that she needed extra space. While cleaning and reorganizing, she decided she had to do something about her scraps. Like me, she could not just throw them out and started going through magazines and pattern books looking for designs to make with her scraps. The above nine-patch is completely made of scraps.

After spending eight hours ironing each little scrap in my scrap box, I called Gerry to ask what I should do now. I have heard of various ways to sort scraps but could not bring myself to cut all my scraps into little squares and sort by size. Sorting by color made more sense to me. Gerry said that at first she didn’t cut her scraps but did sort by size. She realized she had a pile of strips and made this beautiful strip quilt pictured above. She said that she would recommend using up your strips first. (See here for instructions for the above quilt) You can then cut your left over strips into squares for the next project. She said that when considering the next quilt she would move to the next size down, maybe using five-inch squares, and design her quilt around that. After that, she would make a quilt with 2 ½ in squares, then use up the 1 ½ inch squares. If you have triangles, put them together to make squares.

I am so imspired and hope you are too. I'm off to sew strips and hope there is a good program on TV tonight. I will keep you updated on my progress. Thanks Gerry for all your help. Your quilts are beautiful and inspiring.

Raspberry Rabbits has a free stitchery pattern. Each month there will be a new, happy and positive sentiment for you to stitch.

Until next time,


Allie said...

What a wonderful quilter Gerry is! It's so hard to believe she made those from scraps. I can see why she inspires you!
Thanks for the link to Rasberry Rabbits, I hadn't seen her blog before and I LOVE that stitchery!

Quilt Hollow said...

Thanks for sharing Rasberry Rabbits. I'd never spotted them before. Gerry is those scrap quilts! Inspiring

Vicky F said...

Hi Caroll,
Happy New Year!
Good post; lots of inspiration!
Speaking of using up scraps for quilts, will you be taking either of Bonnie Hunter's classes when she comes to the guild in March? I'm signed up for both, just for fun.
Vicky F

Miss Nancy said...

Gerry is a fantastic quilter and has some very good suggestions for organizing and using scraps. Good thinking, Gerry. Thank you for sharing Gerry's talents with us all. The stitchery at Raspberry Rabbits is really nice. Thank your for sending us in that direction. Have a great day.

Micki said...

Gerry is so talented and it was wonderful seeing all her quilts!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Beautiful quilts and very inspiring for sure. Thanks for sharing about Gerry.

Holly said...

Thank you for showing different ways to use up scraps. I think we all have tons of them that we can't part with. I have mine sorted my size also.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.